Wednesday, 17 November 2010

What's the Alternative?

So there I was, half way through a nice little moan about how hard it was being a writer, how difficult it was to push on sometimes, how demoralising it was when you put all that effort into writing and it still didn't come out the way you intended, when my friend cheerily said, 'Oh well, you could always give up and do something else.'

And so I could. It's not compulsory for me to be a writer. I wasn't born with a little tag around my wrist marking me out as a writer, and only a writer. There are quite a few things I fancy doing - run a teashop, work in an art gallery, design and build my own house - that would be perfectly possible.

I could give up. I'd leave five completed and published novels, one nearly finished. Quite a few short stories published, about three waiting to be tidied up. A year's worth of writing effort would be abandoned, which might be a bit of a waste, but no one would die. No one would really care, to be honest. And not writing might make me happier, wealthier, a nicer person to live with.


When my friend suggested I could give up writing, my inner soul made a face like Munch's The Scream. I know several people who started writing fiction at the same time as me but have now given up, and all of them say they were much more contented with life when they were writing than they are now. So I think I'd better stop moaning and just get on with it. Because, seriously, what's the alternative? Not writing, that's what.

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